Carol Aichele is the Secretary of the Commonwealth (akin to Secretary of State in other states) in Pennsylvania. You may remember that when she testified at the Voter ID trial, she attested under oath that she'd never even read the law. And yes, she's the person in charge of overseeing its implementation.
Carol works in Harrisburg, but lives in our area. She stopped by our booth last Sunday. As Voter Registration Zone Leader, and political activist Andrea Lynch relates:
Noel Boothe and I had just finished speaking with a woman who was concerned about her 88 year old mother. She no longer has a drivers license but wants to vote. The woman asked questions like: What did her mom need for an absentee ballot? Or did she need to go to the DMV to get an ID? The mom really wants to vote.
We could see Carol storming across the parking lot, we could tell that she was coming towards us. She rifled through everything on the table to make sure that we were non-partisan. Of course, we're completely clean. It's nice to know we passed muster.
I said to her that it was too bad she hadn't been 5 minutes earlier, or she would have heard from a woman whose mother was having trouble with being able to vote. I explained the situation, and Carol said "Well if going to the Driver's License Center is so difficult for her than maybe she isn't well enough to be voting."
That was it. Immediately I asked her where in the Constitution was there a health clause related to voting. She didn't take well to that.
The conversation went on with Andrea explaining all sorts of truths to Carol.
There is a lot of discussion about whether IDs can be "substantially similar" and thus there are a lot of people, even in OFA and among Democratic leaders who believe that if a drivers license has a middle name but a voter registration has a middle initial, it will be okay to vote. I don't buy it, and I don't believe Carol Aichele's organization does, either. They are actively working to disenfranchise anyone who might conceivably vote for Obama. It takes 3 minutes to fill out a new registration form. Three minutes now, for a bunch of safety on November 6th.
Thanks so much to Andrea, Noel, and all the other great people who stand voter registration.
Update: Since this conversation occurred, the PA Supreme Court heard arguments which could lead to the delay of implementation of the Voter ID law. In addition, here in Chester County, the Board of Elections met, and after all was said and done, left most decisions to the Judge of Elections for each precinct. Meanwhile, thousands of people across Pennsylvania are doing their best to make sure everyone can comply with the law even if it is overturned.
Please share with everyone you know that the Secretary of the Commonwealth doesn't seem to care if the elderly, the sick or the disabled want to vote.